|Chapter 3||Dragonquest||Chapter 5|
Kylara observed herself in the mirror, wearing a new dress. She was angry at the tailor, as the hem was uneven. She calls for her nurse, Rannelly, an old woman. She ordered Rannelly to fix it, in time for her to go home. As she removes the dress, it reveals bruises. Rannelly asked if he had done it, and Kylara angrily tells her to mind her own business. "He" appears to be Lord Holder Meron.
Prideth does not understand why Kylara is attracted to Meron. She is bored by excursions to Holds. She thinks to herself that F'lar would be a much better man, but Prideth points out that Mnementh belonged to Ramoth, and she would not contend with Ramoth.
As Kylara oils and strokes her dragon, T'bor enters. Kylara did not get along very easily with her weyrmate, though her dragon liked him. T'bor asks Kylara how many free weyrs were available. She did not know, and told him to ask Brekke. She suspected that Brekke - who longed after F'nor - was sleeping with T'bor.
T'bor finds Brekke in F'nor's weyr, tending his bandages. She informs him, when asked, that there were only four available weyrs, but that Varena at West (apparently another part of Southern Weyrn) could handle at leas 20. T'bor tells her that R'mart was sending 10, but only 1 badly injured. Brekke said that the worst injured rider should come to her part.
Half the men recuperating at Southern were from Fort. Brekke told T'bor that the rason for that wasn't so much T'ron's poor leadership, as T'bor had assumed, but that Mardra was flying in an upper wing, with a flame thrower, rather than in the queens' wing, and as a result, the other dragons were injured attempting to protect her.
F'nor learns about the changes in Thread pattern. He also begins to suspect that Brekke was interested in him, from her reaction to F'nor's desire to return to fighting Thread. He also learns that Brekke can hear dragons, and Canth surprises him by referring to Brekke by name.
F'nor and Canth head off to a nearby beach, so that Canth can swim. After Canth's swim, they doze off.
Later in the afternoon, Canth gently wakes F'nor. He is surprised to see a small golden dragon, a fire-lizard. He assures the fire-lizard, backed up by Canth's reassurance, that he meant no harm. The fire-lizard hovers around them for a short while, before going between.
The fire-lizard returns. Canth remarks that she is hungry. He feeds her, inadvertantly Impressing her.
He witnesses the other hatchlings of her clutch, watching, unable to stop it, wherries killing and eating other hatchlings. Then, a green dragon appears, driving away the wherries, saving some of the hatchlings.
Seven hatchlings were saved, two seriously wounded, and Impressed by dragonriders. Mirrim had Impressed three, two greens and a brown, Brekke had a bronze, the green's rider a bronze, and two other riders blues.
Back at the Weyr, Kylara angrily demands of Brekke why she hadn't been told, F'nor defends Brekke, telling her that events had moved too rapidly. Kylara attempts to take G'sel (the greenrider)'s bronze away from him. F'nor warned Kylara that the fire-lizard had Impressed, and that if he bit her, not to blame G'sel.
Kylara angrily leaves, after warning the riders assembled that there was to be no shirking of duties because of the fire-lizards.
After Kylara leaves, Brekke considers that, if they could be Impressed by non-weyrfolk, they might be useful, giving non-weyrfolk a "small taste of dragon".